The Business Software Alliance of Australia (BSAA) launched a 60-day illegal software amnesty last week in an attempt to offer business litigation-free licensing help.
The move is the BSAA's latest attempt to highlight illegal software use in Australia and change the public perception that it is a "victimless crime".
BSAA chairman Jim Macnamara said the organisation's own research shows 31 per cent of all software is illegal, which is higher than the US figure of 27 per cent.
The mass-media campaign will target PC users from the home market to the enterprise user in the hope that local distributors, retailers and vendors will begin to recover lost revenue. While the campaign is not specifically targeting the channel, Macnamara said a high percentage of channel players support vendors' illegal software initiatives.
"The legitimate channel is very much behind it," he said.
The BSAA reports that a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey estimates if software piracy is reduced in Australia to US levels it will inject $1 billion a year into the economy and around 7000 direct and indirect jobs.
The campaign was launched under the banner "get legal or get sprung". The amnesty extends from May 1 to June 30, 1999.